2002 Prius fuel tank repair

I would like to understand better how the fuel tank works in this car. I have fumes escaping from the fuel tank (bladder?) into the intake manifold and the repair is about $1300. Does anyone else have experience with this problem? I have 144K+ miles on this car and it has been a good experience, over all.

What you describe about fumes from the tank getting into the intake manifold is what is supposed to happen. But, it is supposed to be a controlled event. The gas tank is not a bladder. It may be plastic, but it is rigid. The fumes from the fuel tank are supposed to be captured by the evaporative emissions system, same as any other car or truck on the road. The fumes are supposed to be held in the charcoal canister until the ECM signals the purge valve to open, and suck the fumes into the engine to be burned. This system has been in use since the 70’s, although it has now evolved to use electronic components in all modern cars. The main reason is to prevent raw gas fumes from escaping to the atmosphere.

Please elaborate on the problems and initial diagnosis. Is the Check Engine light on? Is it running poorly? Do you know any of the trouble codes involved?

I was driving in town Tuesday morning and the check engine light came on. I did not notice the car running any differently; it was running fine. I had noticed my gas mileage was not quite as good as in the recent past–3 to 5 miles per gallon less. Looking at the receipt, this looks like the trouble code: P1455 “Internal failure of fuel tank bladder system. Causing excessive fuel vapors to enter intake stream. Fuel tank and charcoal canister.” Both of these were replaced to the tune of about $1100 and I got my car back today. I appreciate any light this may shed on the problem I described.

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I don’t know about the 2002 model, but in later models, the gas tank IS a bladder.